Our thanks to Andrew Ferguson for his 2014 piece recounting the story of Edward Larkin, who among ot...
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If someone were to ask me why I hate Queensland, my answer would be, because they are them. There is not a thing more to it, they are them, and it is what is in me, a passion that is unyielding and inexplicable, and it is what should be in every proud New South Welshman at this time of year.
I will state what every one of us with blue tinged blood would like to ignore, but which must nonetheless be stated, explicitly we, the premier state of New South Wales, have sustained total and absolute defeat over the last five years, it has been a slow and painful slink into the wake of a new maroon dynasty.
And yet, here we are, another year, with another chance to regain supremacy.
Make no mistake, this is a brilliant Queensland team, and a series victory will ensure this will be recounted as one of the greatest in Blues history.
We are the underdogs, the media is predicting us to lose, and the faith of the fans is wavering. Queensland will protest otherwise, their insecurities beckon it, crave it, but we are the underdogs.
Queensland will not be ill-prepared, they are aware of what it takes to attain victory, they will send all their might, all their fury, they know they will have to break us or lose the series, that is how State of Origin is won.
The upcoming weeks will be full of grind and struggle, I ask of our brothers in Blue who take the field, on behalf of the rest of us, to give your all, to give your blood, your sweat, your tears and your flesh, for the sake of victory!
Victory is what we covet, victory at all costs, victory in spite of injuries, victory however long and hard the road may be. Without victory, there is no honour, there is no pride, there is no swagger. We must wage war with Queensland, wage war with an all-encompassing one minded focus, victory!
We must be ready for battle, for the conflict, enamour yourself with self-belief, enamour your blue blooded comrades with unrelenting support, demonstrate desire for the ultimate outcome, victory!
We must fight until the end, we must fight at Suncorp, we must fight at ANZ, we must fight for every second of every minute, and we must defend our natural right to hold up the shield, whatever the cost may be.
We must never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in.
Never yield to force, never yield to the seemingly overwhelming might of the enemy, never yield to injuries or poor fortune.
We must pull together or face the consequence that is another year in a maroon inferno. We can stay here with sullen looks and submit to defeat, or we can wage war, we can come together and fight out way back and demand victory.
What is it going to be?